Wednesday, July 16, 2008

iPhone3G - what a fiasco!



I finally got interested in Apple's iPhone when a work colleague showed me his and let me have a 60 second play on it before it went safely back in its "sock". I was impressed with the ease of use and slick interface as well as the size, weight and the internet integration. I was convinced enought to buy one when I saw the price drop and heard how you didn't actually need that O2 contract as you could buy it, take home and "jailbreak" it away from O2. Unfortunately it was about 2 days after the UK sold out of the original iPhone so I was forced to wait for the new 3G model.

Come 11th July I was ready. I normally get to work early so was due to wander past St James Park branch of Carphonewarehouse at 7:15 when they were opening at 8:02. When I arrived a single nerd (sorry, "creative-type-person") was there already. After pleasantries were exchanged ("This the iPhone queue?" "Yeah" "OK I'm #'2 then") we stood and waited. At 7:30 a CPW staffer arrived, opened the store to let herself in and gave us a scrap of paper with a number on it (highly secure). She also let slip that the stock was 5 iPhones, all 8gb models. I'd read on the CPW website that the sale should take around 20 minutes inc credit checks etc. However, after all systems crashed, and #1 was ordering a 16gb model (and I was unsure which)... at 10:40 I left with the first iPhone 3G sold at that store. What a mess. Of course this is what Apple wanted. No end of free publicity - like Nintendo with the world Wii shortage on launch. There were some fun moments while waiting, such as when I spotted on The Inquirer website that the 3G iPhone had already been jailbroken!!

Anyway, after arriving late for my first meeting of the day in my new job (impressive eh?) I didn't get a chance to unbox until I got home. At home I found no manual (talk about Apple arrogance - we don't need one) so had to find it on Apple web site. The manual says "remove the SIM cover using the special tool we provide".. nope, not in my box. No charger, no screen protector, no dock. Talk about cheapskate Apple for a premium phone. Got the SIM installed eventually and then had to deal with iTunes Store being down - so no registration and no use of iPhone until about 2 hours later.

Now, the sales experience and registration was a shambles. Quite frankly shameful.

The product is great, the web experience etc is really usable, friendly and easy to work out. The battery life somewhat disappointing - I think I need to work out how to tweak the options to maximise it. The worst thing? My MP3 collection is 13gb... the iPhone 8gb model only has 7gb or a little more but not 8gb free. I may be forced to get a 16gb model but none in stock. How can I exchange it when there are none to exchange it with? Might just have to live with it. Still, there are worse things.

I have to wonder though, have I sold my soul to the Apple Devil? Probably.. Do I care? Unlikely!